If dogs ran the library!

Great little video from Invercargill City Libraries and Archives in New Zealand

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Creating short videos with Animoto

I got to attend a great social media masterclass run by DK at the LIANZA conference last week. One of the things DK showcased was Animoto – which allows you to create short videos using your photos set to music. Great for promotional material on your blog! Here is an example put together by my colleague Judi Kercher:

LIANZA Conference 2012.

I would really like to be able to embed the actual video, but for the life of me I can’t find the embed button – maybe it’s a Chrome thing? I might have to experiment with another browser. Meanwhile here is a pic of DK delivering his keynote at the same conference:

Using hairdressers for word of mouth marketing

Last year Liz Knowles and I featured this excellent clip about using taxi drivers for word of mouth marketing in our LIANZA marketing workshops:

At the end of this cool little video they make a reference to hairdressers being their next target as agents for word of mouth marketing. I’m not sure if they ever did this – have yet to find the YouTube clip.

Just recently I came across this article about the launch of the Right Royal Cabaret Festival in New Plymouth in June. And who was in the audience? Hairdressers! As TAFT chief executive, Suzanne Porter explains:

We targeted young hairdressers because they have a great ability to talk and they see so many different people every day that they can talk to about this event

I would think there would be lots of scope to invite certain professional groups, like hairdressers, along to events or launches in libraries. Has anyone out there tried this? Did it work for you?

Kiwiana theme a winner [or catering for a library do on the cheap]

Recently we held a promotional event at Massey University Library for our academics, showcasing some of our newer services such as eTV and our Discover interface. Partly inspired by a Christmas do I went to last year, we decided upon a kiwiana theme for the food. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend so the cheap and cheerful fare of cheerios* and tomato sauce, sausage rolls, lamingtons, chips and dip etc made for a low cost catering option. And one we could easily put together ourselves. Sure we wouldn’t win any Heart Foundation ticks for it, but it was popular and fun. One I would recommend for those of us in New Zealand looking to entertain our library customers on a budget!

Kiwiana treats – Foxton Fizz, L&P and lamingtons

And we also served up a rather nice (alcohol free) punch.

*these are cocktail type sausages in NZ speak, not the cereal 🙂

I’m not saying it has to be cheese and wine … but â€¦

Welcome to my first guest post – this one showcases promotional events in an academic library. 

A big thank you to my colleague Heather da Vanzo, Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian, Massey University Library, Wellington campus

Libraries do need to up their game when it comes to marketing. Having worked in a variety of sectors, most recently in the Academic sector it’s clear that Libraries have moved from collection based institutions towards service based organizations – I’m just not sure we’re communicating the value of our collection to our clients.

Currently being in a small team our marketing has to be sustainable, we’ve agreed that 2 promotional events a year is feasible. We aren’t talking huge events – just 20-30 guests – again manageable and for us it allows us to offer a “hands-on” aspect to the session.

Tailoring the sessions to client needs is crucial – it keeps numbers manageable, but also ensures a clear message. So far our target audience has been postgraduates, researchers and staff but his could change, depending on the resources we market and the venue.

Heather da Vanzo presents at a Massey University Library event at our Wellington campus

As always it’s important we don’t reinvent the wheel so we’ve designed a check list of logistical tasks. The checklist ensures we can divide the tasks amongst the team and utilize a package of templates including a door sign, poster, bookmark and invitation email. Apart from saving time, these templates retain some consistency to the Libraries “promotion” brand.  We can easily change the colour and logo to match the theme of the promotional event.

Really it’s been about getting staff and researchers into the Library space and showing them the Library has what they need. Assuming we are familiar with the purpose of the institution and the needs of the clients, Librarians are in the best position to make the match between client and resource.  Essentially show clients our relevance.

We have offered, cake and coffee, cheese and wine, catering which doesn’t break the bank; but creates a welcoming impression with the client and gets them through the door. And it strikes a chord:

“Great session…..very informative and clearly presented…makes much more impact when you get a presentation rather than finding the info out by working through the data……and let’s face it….mostly we wouldn’t bother…….great cake too!” Associate Professor Ciochetto

We’ve found promotional events a great way to build relationships, promote our resources and look competent!

Note: Photo and quote used with permission

Promoting EPIC resources – ideas from the vendors at LIANZA11

One of the sessions I attended at the recent LIANZA conference was about the promotion of EPIC databases, with the session being presented by the vendors themselves.  You can find all their presentations from the session on the EPIC website .  Below are some of the ideas I took particular note of.

Most vendors provide:

–          posters that either you or they can customise for you

–          Search widgets for your website

–          Training for library staff in their resources

Liza Fisher from Gale Cengage talked about “shelf talkers” to make the link between hardcopy and print – they can provide these for libraries. This is what they look like:

Example of a Shelf Talker: Photo courtesy Gale Cengage

Liza also made a point that I whole heartedly agree with – you absolutely have to identify key content for your customers. In some library contexts promoting big databases can be overwhelming for staff and irrelevant for customers. Liza suggests taking opportunities to highlight journals that might appeal to your customers – for instance if you someone asks where the golfing books are this could be an opportunity to promote access to golfing magazines on the EPIC databases. This “would you like fries with that” approach is not so alien to us – it is an extension of our customer service values. As Camille from Britannica said at the same session, we librarians are in sales. Every great sales person worth their salt knows their product – and we have to know our products and resources too. Liza mentioned what they did at Auckland City Libraries a few years ago now where they ran a display competition between branches, with each branch promoting a different resource. In this way staff at each branch become familiar with at least one of the resources on offer.

In one of my earlier posts I included some ideas for promoting EPIC databases from the nz-libs list. Be sure to check that out – there are some great ideas there from libraries around New Zealand and staff training was a key tool. I also included a link to Julie Badger’s excellent article about the challenges of promoting library databases. If you only have time to read one article on libraries and marketing, make it hers 🙂